Friday, July 13, 2012

Gentleness and Self-Control

     This week I heard about a new book called 'Give Them Grace' by Elyse Fitzpatrick. I really want to read this book. ( I have quite a list of books I really want to read though, so it might be a while) I read the description and went to the website to find that there is a blog written by the author that models her parenting philosophy. Basically, to treat your children with the grace God gives you. 

One of my goals for this year is summed up in one word- 'Gentleness'. It's a fruit of the spirit, and as a mommy of four small children, it's something I struggle with. I want to model gentleness to my children. I fail at this on a daily basis as the chaos of a house full of noisy boys (and one noisy tomboy) makes me raise my voice when I do not want to. However, I have been getting better at it. I do try to remind myself over and over that whatever is going on that is stressing me out - clean clothes being spread around the living room, my son sitting on his sister or my younger son taking off his diaper and peeing on a stack of books.... these are a few examples of what I am talking about... whatever it is, I try to remember that they are more important to me than whatever is being destroyed, or my clean house... or my sanity. 

(This is not to say they cannot be disciplined, but consequences to their actions can be issued without a bad attitude and they will still learn)

Anyway, this blog was a sweet reminder to me to give them grace. You might get something from it too-

     Another of my goals for this year is to work on 'Self Control' I have done much reading about willpower. Another Fruit of the Spirit, I know that God not only wants us to strive for it, but He promises to help us with it through the Holy Spirit. I have certainly exercised my willpower in many areas thus far this year, Food, Excercise, and Spending being a few... but this also ties in with Parenting. I definitely need Self-Control to give them grace when I am tired and stressed. 

Did You know that you can strengthen your Willpower just like you strengthen a muscle when you exercise? Scientists have done many studies lately on this subject and have found very interesting things. There is something they call a 'Small Win'. Basically, you can do something simple every day and it boosts your ability to do other harder things. You may think the little things don't count, but the value of maintaining a consistent habit is tenfold! Even just making your bed every morning has been proven to make you more productive all day long!

Because of this, I have been striving to do certain things daily. I have read my Bible every day this year through a daily Bible reading plan app on my phone. I have maintained my Drawing of the Day habit. (although I have stopped posting them in order to not bore everyone to death!) and I have been working on other regular habits.

I will be sharing more about willpower and habits again soon, in the meantime, here are my two favorite books on the subject-

By the way, this one is the most boring book cover ever and the one above it has one of the best!

Click the links to see the book at Amazon. You can even read a free chapter of the Habit book on your phone via the free Kindle app.
Thanks for letting me share.
Have a Great Day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

30 Days of The Skinny Rules!


     It's what I have been focusing on for the past month.
Joey and I have undergone a complete change of eating habits and have maintained it for 30 days now.
This is my post to explain all the details.

     First of all, I didn't set out to start a diet when this all began. I have been needing to make a change however since I had gained a bunch of weight AFTER giving birth in January. Yes, After.
     Two things proceeded this big change. One, I had been reading lots of newly published material on habits and willpower. I was hoping it would eventually lead to having more willpower in the eating dept. but wasn't too encouraged because the book 'Willpower' stated that the advice therein wouldn't work for dieting because their findings indicate that you need sugar to power your brain (thus fueling willpower). The other thing was that I have been getting these awesome emails that post the newest stuff our library currently is receiving and I get an early crack at reserving good stuff. I can't pass up reserving a new release that looks interesting. (ps this is how I ended up reading about Habits in the first place too)
     So, one of the new releases I reserved was Bob Harper's 'The Skinny Rules'.
     There were so many people waiting for it that I was only allowed to check it out for a week. I have never had that happen before.
     I read the book, I felt it would work for us, and we dove into the change!

     Here is what I consumed before reading the book- Everything. Plus tons of chocolate milk and I loved my Dr. Peppers (LOVED) and I had no control, I was out of CONTROL!!!

     Here is what I (we) eat/drink now-  Apples, Water, Coffee (with very little sweetener), Almonds, Vegetables (limiting the ones that are carbs), lots of protein, lots of fiber,  Oatmeal, Meats, carbs (whole grain at that)

     Here is what we don't eat/drink- SUGAR, Potatoes, (accept sweet potatoes in moderation), Processed foods, Fast Foods (accept the one meal a week splurge allowed on the Skinny Rules Diet and even then it's just a burger, nothing else) cookies, cakes, donuts, etc. No COKES! No milk, (don't drink you're calories) No anything fun.

     I would have not bet money on me being able to eat like that for 30 days (or even a week!) So how did we do it? I'm not sure. One thing I learned from the book though, that changed my thinking is this- 'If you eat sugar, then you will crave sugar' Your body gets on a sugar high roller coaster that makes you want to snack all the time. Without the sugar (and carbs convert to blood sugar) you remain stable and eat less! It is true. The cravings all but went away when I quit cold turkey!

So the big question, did we lose weight?
Yes. And still losing. I hope to report back on that in another couple of months with more significant results, As for now it stands at about a ten pound loss for each of us!

One thing I didn't expect was that I lost interest in exercising and actually began to feel terrible after a few weeks. In fact, even last week, I was still feeling yucky and tired. I don't know if it was a type of detoxing that left me weak, but this week, I'm feeling much better and got back to my morning biking routine. I expected after a month off the bike that I would have trouble getting started. Before last month, I was going about a mile and a half in the mornings (not much) and it was taking me about 20 minutes.
Yesterday I set out at 6 a.m. for the first time in a month and did 4 miles in 30 minutes! I have my energy back and then some!!! Yay! Not only that, but I did Bob's Cardio workout last night and got up again this morning to do 4 more miles on the bike. I'm really looking forward to weighing myself at the end of this week to see if the exercise makes a big difference.

So, What is the end result in this experiment? The end result is that there is no end, hopefully, but that we will be able to keep it up as a new way of eating, not a temporary diet. This time next year I hope to be much more in shape and on my way to skinny!!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

What I've been doing lately.

It's been a while but I'm back and now that I can post from my phone I may be posting more often. I've been doing lots of art and lots of reading and being inspired and lots of organizing and mostly dealing with an infant and a toddler. Seen below.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Keep Trying!!!

I love starting over.

I know it usualy means you have failed at something. (Hence the word 'over')

But, When it comes to the subject of home and family and organization or management strategies, I am finally finding that each time I start trying a new direction, or rather a new attempt at doing things 'right', things at least get better.

Better is great! If every year I keep only a few of my resolutions, or at least learn some important lessons shaping next year's resolutions, then I'm making progress!!!

Right now, I look around me and I am encouraged by the progress I have made in the last few years!

Does it sound obnoxious that I'm patting myself on the back?

Well, you should know that this is from someone who used to beat herself up a bit about her goals and lack of accomplishing them. I have these ideas about what I should be and what a day in the life of our family should look like, what our home should be like, etc...

And I used to be soooo far from there.

Now, I'm a little closer. Thanks to God's patience and blessings in my life of course.

This makes me want to encourage other people!
I think I will go do that right now...

I was thinking yesterday- you know how you can spot another dreamer? They take time to encourage other people's dreams.

So Thank You, fellow dreamer... you know who you are.

Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My other blog....The Drawing One

Greetings, friends...

Just wanted to share my other blog with you real quick.
That one is just for posting a drawing each day(actually night).
So, Go check it out!

Click Here to see my doodling.



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Big Gap in Blogging and New Baby News!

Meet our new addition: Linus Zane

I'm going to blame him for my lack of blogging for the past several months, even though he just got here.
It was a really long pregnancy, ya'll.... it felt like years.

He is almost two weeks old now and I am just now feeling like myself again. I can walk without waddling like a duck and I can sleep! (between feedings that is)

Blogging and Homeschooling were two of the things that were put on hold toward the end of the pregnancy. I wasn't totally useless though, I actually managed to put the nesting instinct to great use in cleaning and organizing my house right up to the last week. I did some artwork, I read some books, handcrafted some Christmas presents, and I finally finished the mural in my son's room.

So what I'm saying is that 'I'm back', and it's possible that more frequent blogs may be coming soon. Hope you all are well!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How to get some creativity.

I have always been a creative person. Since most of my creativity has been channeled through art, I think most people assume me and the kids probably do lots of crafts. Being known as an artist and a homeschooler, it does make a measure of sense to expect this.

While I have been rather crafty in the past, crafts are not something I enjoy doing with my kids. *Gasp* I know... bad mommy award.

Crafts with kids are messy and time consuming.... and they usually result in something that has all the stability of a three legged hippo.

So you see it's not the mess that bothers me so much, it's the fact that the end result is so fragile and temporary. Anything made with popsickle sticks and toilet paper rolls is probably not going to be produced in this house.

We do like to draw and paint however, and I do save all their creations. We like to build with legos and I take photos of the really great constructions for posterity. I encourage all building and creating with toys and anything they can find.

Creativity is what I am really about.

This past couple of weeks I came across two pieces of writing about kids and creativity that really helped me focus my goals for the kids and our creative home atmosphere.... one was an article in Parents magazine. I would love to link to it here, but I haven't found it online yet. Instead I will give you the basic points. It was called "Inspire Creativity" and the subtitle says it all: Reading and math are the priorities for schools, but out-of-the-box thinking skills will be the key to a kid's success. By Leslie Garisto Pfaff

In the article we learn that statistics show that America's kids are losing their originality and imagination in schools. The reason is cited as the push for proficient levels on state examination leaving no time for anything but the basics, Math and English are the focus, rote learning is prized over critical thinking and more than ever play time is pushed completely out of schools at a very early level. Kids need to learn through play. This is where their imagination is developed. The article cites a recent IBM poll where 1,500 CEO's identified creativity as the single most important trait for leaders of the future.

My take on the article? Kids need time to be kids. Creativity must be encouraged, and there is more to learning than right and wrong answers.

I have much more to say about this ... stay tuned.

Next Blog: Creating creative centers in our home and the need for kids to be bored!


Related Posts with Thumbnails